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Lasalle,, Packard ,,what else ??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Little Wing, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member


    39 Cent... I am not sure if I misread the post above about the 37 Buick bigger car trans info.

    Here is what I found out when I did the "Olds 51-56 gears into a 37 Buick top shift case".

    - The 37 Buick gears look the same at first glance, but nothing out of the 37 will interchange with the Olds gears and shafts. The issue is that the pitch on the gears is different. The 37 uses more angled teeth than the Olds. I assume Olds engineers used the straighter tooth pitch to handle the Olds v8 torque in a heavy car. (just like the difference in Muncie M20 vs. M22)

    - Even the straight toothed first/rev slider gear on the upper shaft won't fit, because the internal corkscrew splines are different. They must have changed the internal pitch for torque as well. I was real suprised to see that, because the gear looks the same otherwise.

    -The 37 Buick input shaft is smaller, plus the gear on it that drives the cluster has the more angled pitch...so it won't interchange.

    - It looks like the only shafts that are usable out of the 37 is the cluster shaft and reverse idler shaft. nothing gained there.

    -Even the reverse idler gear ass'y is different, plus I spotted one gear that had one less tooth on the count...I think it was on the idler ass'y...or maybe the cluster. Doesn't matter, because nothing fits or works with the Olds stuff.

    - So the things to save out of the 37 are:
    -Main case
    -all forks,+ detent rails
    -top cover ass'y
    -Thrust washer from the cluster shaft because the olds case has a notch that keeps the Olds thrust washer (which has a bump on it), from spinning. I suppose in serious torque race engines or HEAVY cars, you should use the olds thrust washer and then put a notch in the Buick case.


    EDIT It's a real longshot to find enough parts to do the above mods, but the trans shifts and feels so perfect just sitting there. I do not have it in a running car yet, but it feels promising.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  2. I believe the article Bruce is referring to was the one written by Ray Brock in
    June(?) '56. It gave a good overview of the pros and cons of all 3 trans., but
    went into great detail showing how to convert the '37 Buick box to the early
    '50's Olds gears and tailshaft. HRM reproduced it in their great collector series
    in 2003, specifically the 1949-59 issue, p. 164. (If you are really into tradi-tional history and tech, this is the best $16.00 you will ever spend).
    Unfortunately, I do not have a scanner, so if someone has both the book
    and scanner, please chime in....
    Robb
     
  3. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    That's the way I remember it...the Buick required 3 cores...early case and shifter, later Buick gears, Olds tailshaft. Probably you'd need the rest of your life to just find all three nowadays...
    The book I am referring to above is the GREAT source. I think pub date roughly 1959-1961...but I cannot find mine and there are apparently none for sale right now, just later ones from the boring days of Petersen. I am the world's least organized librarian, shuffling through a collection that is practically a mulch heap with cats roosting in it.
    That was about the last time period anyone was interested in these things...shortly after that, everyone wanted a four speed...

    There was a second article on Packard about the time of the one mentioned above, showing adaptations at both ends for use in a GMC powered torque tube Chevy I think. It had some info on internals too. I seem to remember it then drew an angry letter from a reader who had spent his life savings following the article carefully and blowing up 3 Packards in a row...
     
  4. buford26
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 154

    buford26
    Member

  5. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    glad to see info here on these trans much is missing still, so heres another bit of info from a HAMB post, past.

    tarchief57.tripod.com/techtips.htm#gear
    Aftermarket shifter option

    Companies like Ansen and Drag Fast made shifters to fit these selector type transmissions. The problem with the '56-'58 Buicks is that the clutch cable arrangement interferes with the standard shifter. Ansen made a special shifter for '56-'58 Buicks, part number SEL-2002. I've never seen one so I'm not sure how it is different, but it would probably be impossible to find. I could use a regular Ansen Posi-Shift shifter (still very hard to find) and figure out how to modify it. Doable, but hard to find the shifter, not bolt-in and not universal.


    '36-'38 Buick floor shifter option

    The '36-'38 Buick floor shifter trans can be used to convert a later model trans to floor shift. This requires the main case, top shifter assembly, shifter rails, and shifter forks (the '36 requires use of '37-'38 high gear shifting fork for this conversion). For Ford, the shift rails are part of the top plate. In the BOP trans the shifter rails are part of the main case. In the top shift case the shifter rails are located near the top and in the side shift case the shifter rails are located near the bottom. This is why you need the main case and shifter rails/forks in addition to the top plate. It also means that you have to modify the bell housing used with a side shift case to work with the top shift case because the shift rails protrude through the front of the main case when shifted and into a hole drilled part way into the bell housing. To get the '57 tail shaft to work with the '36-'38 case it needs to be modified slightly as well. There are also a few modification that must be made to the '36-'38 case. Again, doable but hard to find the '36-'38 donor trans, not bolt-in and not universal. See article in August 1956 issue of Hot Rod for more on this conversion or this book: http://books.google.com/books?id=UX...ts=A279vyspN5&sig=2e81kZ9_5KCiFHOZvP7Z2yx5w-E


    Ford shifter top plate and adapter plate option

    This option has several advantages:

    1. Adapter plate is just flat plate so it would be easy to make.

    2. The Ford shifter top plate is easily available and you can buy all new parts for it: shifter handle, forks, rails, springs, pins, etc. Basically everything but the top plate itself.

    3. Bolt-in. The only modification that would be required to a stock trans is removal of the stock shifter forks. (For me this also means I wouldn't have any issues with the clutch cable assembly mounted on the side of the trans).

    4. Universal. Once you figure out the design of the adapter plate and what modifications are required to the Ford shifter forks, this would fit any BOP 6-bolt side shift trans.

    After looking at the Buick transmission that I have, I think the '39 Ford 3 inch shifter fork would be required to fit the Buick gears, you can buy this new, but I still haven't figured out what modifications are required to the shifter forks.

    Oldsmobile used the same 6-bolt top cover trans for '51-'63 and Pontiac for '56-‘57. Hollanders interchange manual (21st ed., 1955) also lists '50 Olds 8 case as interchangeable with the '51 and up Olds case and that the '39-'54 Cadillac and '39-'40 LaSalle case are interchangeable with the '50 Olds 8, so the Ford top shifter trick may work for them as well.[/QUOTE]
     
  6. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,504

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    Now what about the lil 4 Bolt GM boxes,,Chassis Research made a Ford conversion for them. Was there ever a strong version of this box ??
    [​IMG]
     
  7. cortcomp
    Joined: Dec 26, 2008
    Posts: 20

    cortcomp
    Member

    Just wanted to clarify, as a packard ultramatic owner (1950, first year) that the ultramatics are pretty damn reliable (Except the front seal that wears out, but don't they all over time?) and one of the best automatics of the era.

    The TwinUltramatics, that came late, however, have a reputation for being finicky.

    I don't know how they'd hold against a V8, because they dont bolt to packard V8's, they came behind straight eights in the earliest version. But, most that have them claim they're durable, just don't like taking off slow and not having overdrive. Reliable though.
     
  8. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    I had heard they had a lockup torq converter, is that true?
     
  9. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    yes we have gotten to the crux of this subject, basically just using the 37/38 Buick floor shift with later gears. I think the gears were changed, made different/stronger in Buicks from 1940 up as far as i know, and Buick had the only floor shift of the selector style trans. And yes I had heard of Packards not being as strong as the others, I think its output shaft was the culprit. I was around when these trans were being used, they did the job for the time but when the 4 speeds came in the problem was solved. today using a later better 4speed or 3 speed makes sense. I wouldnt try to find an older one to be trad, just as i wudnt try to put in old safety glass or not use a set of seatbelts.
     
  10. cortcomp
    Joined: Dec 26, 2008
    Posts: 20

    cortcomp
    Member

    Yup! Hard to explain, there's a low gear you can manually select for steep grades or those take offs when you have to REALLY jump into traffic.

    Then you can manually shift into drive. Or, when you're in drive like normal, you start in drive, then at around 25-30 MPH, that torque converter locks up, direct drive. But you don't get to use the low unless you manually select it, so you feel like you're starting in second then shifting into 3rd on a three speed :) (unless you have a twin ultramatic, i'm talking the first version i have)

    The front seals are known to go so you lose the pressure you need to get moving, but it's $400 for a total rebuild kit, maybe $600 including clutch discs coated with modern GM material. The seal alone is like $30 if you want to tear into and just fix that. Hardly terrible for a vintage automatic that once redone once, will probably last forever.
     
  11. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,473

    landseaandair
    Member
    from phoenix

    [/QUOTE]
    I think this is the ford top shift conversion a few of you have been discussing, in a kit from Hot Rod, December 1959, pg. 113.

    aprilmayjune2008 466.jpg
     
  12. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    Found this old thread for a 6 bolt selector top cover.. I can't believe the thread had NO replies :( This aftermarket cover must be impossible to find.. but there is other info worth reading if working with this stuff. This is the thread that clued me into the fact that the Olds tailshaft housing is NOT a true bolt on, to the 37 Buick top shift case.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=346588&highlight=bolt+shifter

    [​IMG]
     
  13. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    Ok L.W., here are pics of the 50 Olds case and stuff. The case looks good. Both shift rods/levers are there. Internal shift stuff is there except one "fork". see below

    See the 2 pics with the yellow pencil; the small part in my hand is the rear shift fork and it goes in that hole where the pencil is.

    the other fork (front fork) is missing and I don't know what it looks like. That fork goes into the hole where the pencil is pointing (inside the case picture)

    one pic shows the ball bearings/sleeve which is the interlock/detents that goes inside the trans, right between the 2 fork levers. Easy to put together.

    also in that pic are the 2 hard to find bottom "long" cover bolts that keep the reverse idler shaft and cluster shaft in place.

    Also pics of misc trans parts all mixed up: some are selectors of various styles, and likely some LaSalle stuff, but I can't ID any of it. The 2 rear mainshafts are slightly different and may be selector stuff.

    Let me know ...
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,504

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    Frank

    Is That suppose to be like that ?? Just noticed it ..My shaft has it as well ,,I thought it as a part that was chipped .
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,547

    Truckedup
    Member

    Talking older manual tranny's ,did anyone mention the T-85 Borg Warner? They were used behind FE performance Fords and early 60's 413 Mopars i think.The Ford version was available with OD.A few early 60's stock Pontiac drag racers preferred a 3 speed ,don't know what make it was though.
     
  16. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The T-85 was also the basis of the T-10 four speed! Same case, rearranged innards, reverse gear housed outside in a new tail casting.
     
  17. all four of mine have the same thing. Whatever it's for, it's factory.
     
  18. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,504

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast


    :D woo hoo ..one less part to look for !!!
     
  19. rainh8r
    Joined: Dec 30, 2005
    Posts: 792

    rainh8r
    Member

    Jim Green used to make a living converting Roadmaster transmissions to open drive for local racers. His conversions are serialized and show up on occasion at swap meets, usually for either very big money or next to nothing. Call him at Jim Green's Speed Center in Seattle-he knows what works.
     
  20. CJ Steak
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,377

    CJ Steak
    Member
    from Texas

    T90 3 speed out of a Willys Jeep. Pretty stout transmission and the fourwheel drive guys have put 300+ horsepower engines in front of them. You can get them in 2 and 4 wheel drive variants. Look for 2 wheel drive postal Jeeps if you want that variant of the T90. They're not worth much because they're practically useless to the 4 wheel drive crowd.

    I believe it's the same tranmission from the 40's up until the early 80's? No synchro 1st and Reverse though. Even with the long shifter Willys Jeeps had, they're actually a really tight transmission shift pattern wise. I'd imagine if you took a foot off the shifter to fit it in a car, it would make the shift pattern super small.

    -Chris
     
  21. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 6,200

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Maybe a little O/T but it might be of interest. In the 60's, I bought a '50 Buick Special fastback 2 door sedan that had a busted trans. It was a real clean car, and real cheap. The best part was that I had done some research before I bought the car, and had a rebuilt transmission ordered from Sears (of all places) for (I think) $84.95 and they delivered it to my house.:) I hadn't bargained on the torque tube, so the changeout was more than I planned for, but I got it done. The shift linkage was kinda trashed, and a little complicated, so I made my own floor shifter. I bolted a piece of angle iron to the left top of the case, drilled a hole through the the vertical leg, and bolted a 1/2" heim to it. I then attached (welded, I think) a smaller heim on the end of a 1/2" rod that bolted onto the shift arm and shoved the two foot long rod up through the larger heim. I then put a shift knob on it, and voila' Floor Shift!:D It worked great but you had to remember to push the lever left or right when going 1st to second or back to 1st or reverse. After a day or two, it became second nature to me. Drove the car that way for about 5 years until the tranny went out again (I think there was some misalignment in the bellhousing area, because both times I had it with a bad transmission, it was the main bearing on the input shaft that went.):mad:

    This was a "one-lever" selector transmission. Just to show what can be done, I had a "T" bucket in the sixties with a 270 Dodge hemi and overdrive 3 speed. This was a "Two-lever" selector. There was one coming out of the top of the side cover that actually shifts the gears, while there is another on the side that selected 1st/Reverse or 2nd/3rd. I originally put a smail lever on this that you had to pull to shift 1st/Reverse (it was spring loaded so when you went from 1st to second, it would select by itself). I then welded a chrome chair leg to the original arm on the top lever, added a shift knob on the end, and was ready to go. This also worked great, and I never had a problem with it. Later I added a solenoid to the selector lever, and electric push button under the shift lever, and I had a set up you could operate with one hand.:)

    Both these setups worked better than I had expected them to; just shows to go you what you can accomplish thinking outside the box.:cool:
     
  22. timothale
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 234

    timothale
    Member

    Buick to early ford torque tube. My older brother did a lot of nailhead builds and swaps. He said the ford and buick torque tube ball was the same radius < he used the ball adaptor that bolts to some of the Ford transmissions, machined an adaptor fixture to line up a ford plate on the back of the buick trans then drilled and tapped the ford pattern on the buick trans case and plugged the buick holes with cut off bolts. He said the spline count is the same but loose so he cut strips of shim stock to put in each "tooth" of the spline.
     
  23. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,257

    Gman0046
    Member

    My experience is that late 40's big Buick transmission gear strength is no different then 37's. They were just more available and inexpensive back in the early sixties. We used to pay $5 a tranny all day long.
     
  24. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

     
  25. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

     
  26. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    ooops! well I,m gonna blame CRS. HAMBERS,, BEWARE old guys know lotta old stuff, but they dont always get it down right. thanx F&J. so with that 'I will say' 'that 1940 and up Buick large series trans gears were changed as were any GM trans of that type. so 'chekitout' theres lotta info out there. [myself I would try adapting later gearboxes,]
     
  27. LOU WELLS
    Joined: Jan 24, 2010
    Posts: 2,408

    LOU WELLS
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from IDAHO

    THE LINCOLN HEAVY DUTY T85(WITH OR WITHOUT OVERDRIVE) FIRST APPEARS IN 1949-1951 AND WAS A GREAT TRANSMISSION.MY NEIGHBOR HAS A 1951 LINCOLN THAT HAS A FACTORY HYDRAMATIC BEHIND THE LINCOLN FLATHEAD.
     
  28. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    'OLDGEAR DAYS' some info I got was 37 Buick big trans have only 1 sycro, 38 has 2. Dont kno if there was a midterm change or not. 37/38 gears are the same, 39 out put gears are diff. AND 39 DRIVELINE IS IN A WORLD OF ITS OWN 'chekit out'
     
  29. Slant pan olds was a rock and hard to brake. I have a friend still using one in his 41 Willys been there since 1961
     
  30. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

     

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